Recomended graphic card - Page 4

Recomended graphic card

Various things about Spring that do not fit in any of the other forums listed below, including forum rules.

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mikedep333
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Post by mikedep333 » 17 Jan 2006, 17:04

Zaphod, great, I'm glad we can get along, and wise choice.
Now that it seems reasonable, I would like to do benchmarks just for the sake of the spring community. Could you or someone else confirm exactly what's the maximum shader model spring uses?

As for the benchmarks info,
Unfortunately I'm not learning to program till thus summer, but I can do some scripting if that would help. I'll look into what could be done to make benchmarks easy soon.

Anyway, a benchmark on any system is good because it gives people an idea of how spring will run on their computers (or should be running.) However the wiki is probably the appropriate place for a general list of benchmarks. Here are the relevant graphics card classes that are meant to be close to eachother and have similar prices.

ATI 8500/9000/9100/9200/X300 and NV 5200 (really old low end cards) (dirt cheap)

ATI 9500/9600/x600 and NV 5600/5700/6200 (old low end cards) (around $60-$75)

ATI 9700/9800/x700/x1300/ and NV 6600 (current low end cards) (around $100)

ATI x800/x850/x1600 and NV 6800 (current mid-range cards) (about $200)

ATI x1800/x1900 and NV 7800/7900 (current high end cards) ($300 and up) (x1900 and 7900 are just coming out)

You may consider old low end card to be fast for example, but you'd want at least a current low end card for brand new high-end games like CoD2. Certain cards are current because it or a comprable one has recently been developed by Nvidia or ATI

If I am making a mistake, let me know and link to some benches to show it. Toms hardware's VGA guides are a useful reference for example.

I apologize for not having time to translate the prices nor being perfect on them. Also, these prices are assuming you look at sites that are good at selling graphics cards, in terms of price and support. For the US, i'd reccomend newegg, zipzoomfly, or most anything else recomended on pricegrabber.

Only if you have the same graphics card as someone else in one of these categories, and a relatively close CPU and memory speed can a comparison about which graphics card is best for a price point or which company is better be valid. We'd also need to compare at the same shader model to be even more precise. If this can't be done through game options, we'd have to do it through 3rd party utilities or the drivers themselves. I have cards from the 2nd and the 4th. You guys have cards from the 1st and 3rd.

Spring does have a replay/demo ability. We would create a few varied replays and test them out at certain pre-determined graphics settings. We just need a tool to measure them, and I believe the best one for that is Fraps, which is free of charge or crapware(I think.). I apologize for making the recomended tool not free (as in freedom) if anyone cares.

Feel free to put all info here in the wiki.
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TA 3D
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Post by TA 3D » 17 Jan 2006, 23:10

For anyone looking for a new card go with eather Geforce 6 series, or if you have the money, a Geforce 7 series card made by Nvidia.

About Vista this will show you my info: THE OFFICAL OPENGL WEBSITE:http://www.opengl.org/

Also the orignal devlopers of Direct 3d for Win95, Qubesoft. Only use OpenGL now:http://www.qubesoft.com/
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cyclerboy
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Post by cyclerboy » 18 Jan 2006, 06:20

i have a nvidia 6800gt with a core clock speed of 370 mhz and a memory speed of 1 ghz with a 3.4 ghz hyper-threading processor and 1gb ram. that works on full settings everything in a fairly large battle.
its fun
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el_muchacho
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Post by el_muchacho » 18 Jan 2006, 07:56

For those with ~220$ to throw at an ATI card, I would recomment the Sapphire X800 GTO² (please note the ²), because it has an R480 core, like the more expensive X850XT card, and can easily softmoded and overclocked with ATITool to an X850 XT Platinum Edition (XT PE), which is the top of the X850 line (sold around 400$), and a card with a fair longevity with regards to current and future games.
You easily get over 6000 at 3DMark2005.

It's quite hard to find, but worth it.

An article about it.
http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardw ... ex800gto2/

Anyway, for Spring shadows, AFAIK they are mostly calculated by the CPU, which explains its slowness.

Talking of CPU, the AMD A64 3000+ is one of the cheapest and most overclockable CPUs around. With a good mainboard (recommend the DFI LanPartys), a heat sink and quality memory (Corsair, OCZ or A-Data), most can easily be overclocked from 1800 MHz (base frequency) to 2600 MHz (equivalent of a Athlon 4000+). Some report up to 3 GHz.
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munch
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Budget Graphics Card

Post by munch » 18 Jan 2006, 14:59

[EDIT] Added 9600Pro after finding one for just over £50 (inc P+P) see below [/EDIT]

OK, based on the info given here and also from a friend I've done a lot of digging around on the web both for info on cards and also on prices. The only chipsets in the running are GeForce FX5500 and 6200, and ATi 9600SE, 9600 and 9600Pro series. Anything more than that breaks my £50 budget by the time you've added on VAT and delivery.

A key review I read, which compares a 6200 (called 44A in the artcle) with what is basically a 6600 (it refers to it as 6200 for historical reasons), an FX5700 and a Radeon 9550 is here : http://www.cpluse.com/Module/Show.aspx?id=1838

What I got out of this article is that ATi's poor OpenGL performance is largely down to the low GPU clock speed. It is also clear however that the 64 bit bus in the 6200 has a big impact, compared to the 128 bit buses in the other cards. So what I was after was a card with 128 bit bus and decent core GPU speed. The other thing that matters is the bus speed. The ATi 9600 and 9600Pro are the only ones that fits the bill:

Code: Select all

Series   Bus Width  Bus Speed GPU Speed
---------------------------------------
FX5500   128 bit    350MHz    270MHz
6200     64  bit    400MHz    350MHz
6600LE   128 bit    400MHz    300MHz
9600SE   64  bit    400MHz    325MHz
9600     128 bit    400MHz    325Mhz
9600Pro  128 bit    600MHz    400Mhz
All of these chipsets have 4 pixel pipelines and all are cooled without the need for a fan, which probably has a lot to do with their price point. ([EDIT]except the 9600PRO which needs a fan, but then it just breaks the £50 budget by the time you've included delivery)

(I got some of these stats from a great page comparing the various saphire cards)

The only downside with the 9600 is the it doesn't support the shader model 3.0, which the 6200 does. However, my understanding is that the 6200 supports it on paper, but doesn't have the processing power to support the 3.0 shader features at a reasonable frame rate.

Current plan is to buy an ATI Sapphire 9600 128MB DDR AGP DVI-I TV Retail Graphics Card from redstore for a bargain price of £31. By the time you've added on VAT and postage that comes to about £42, but still a great bargain for a retail card from a respected manufacturer, not to mention buying from a supplier with a half-decent reputation, in case there's any problem with the delivery (unlike e-buyer who are renowed for being fine as long as you don't need customer service).

[EDIT] Or a Sapphire 128MB Radeon 9600 Advantage PRO DDR TV (£49.64 inc VAT). I guess the moral of the story is, there are some real bargains to be had if you're prepared to spend hours and days looking for them! Of course if you've got cash to spare you can save yourself the time and effort and just spend the extra money.[/EDIT]

Of course this looks good on paper, we'll wait to see if they're permanently out of stock etc. as is often the case with deals which look almost too good to be true.

I hope this is useful

Cheers

Munch
Last edited by munch on 20 Jan 2006, 15:00, edited 3 times in total.
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Min3mat
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Post by Min3mat » 18 Jan 2006, 19:41

question:
this IS better than a FX5200 right? (its not XFX and its not LE or XE or w/e)
if so i'm really tempted to get one :D
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AF
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Post by AF » 18 Jan 2006, 21:09

FX5500 128 bit 350MHz 270MHz
I run my fx 5200 Ultra faster than that overclocked, and it was already running at 355Mhz when I had it on default. It's an 8x card, but I use it at 4x cus of my motherboard......
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munch
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FX5200 vs Radeon 9600

Post by munch » 18 Jan 2006, 21:58

Min3mat wrote:question:
this IS better than a FX5200 right? (its not XFX and its not LE or XE or w/e)
if so i'm really tempted to get one :D
Hi M3M =)

Yes it's better than an FX5200, to add the FX5200 into the table:

Code: Select all

Series   Bus Width  Bus Speed GPU Speed
---------------------------------------
FX5200   64  bit    350MHz    250MHz
FX5500   128 bit    350MHz    270MHz
6200     64  bit    400MHz    350MHz
9600SE   64  bit    400MHz    325MHz
9600     128 bit    500MHz    325Mhz
9600Pro  128 bit    600MHz    400Mhz

With overclocking (don't have GeForce figures handy - sorry)
9600     128 bit    540MHz    400Mhz
9600Pro  128 bit    700MHz    540Mhz
Also, FX5200 doesn't have DirectX 9 support (neither does the FX5500 for that matter). Not sure if that will affect Spring at all though. XFX is a make of card, sorry I should have been clearer about that. I must admit it is very confusing I've spent probably 10 hours looking at this!

Good point that Atlantai made - all of the above cards can be overclocked. Some cards start off over-clocked a little. Atlantai's For example, and also the XFX 6200 card in the review I gave a link to has a bus speed of 500MHz. If you want to overclock though bear in mind that it reduces the lifetime of the card (think "the light that shines twice as bright burns half as long" and then some). [EDIT] I've added some overclocking figures that I had handy to the table above[/EDIT]

Finally there is tons to know about graphics cards, I suspect I've only scratched the surface [EDIT]see below[/EDIT]. Whether you can get the full benefit out of a faster card depends on your motherboard. I can't comment on that as I don't know about it. E.g. Atlantai's mobo restricts him to 4x AGP. I don't know how or how much that affects, but you probably want to look into it before buying - I'm sure some of the guys here more clued up on graphics cards than I am could help you out with that (e.g. mikedep333).

Hope this helps

Cheers

Munch

[EDIT]Hi M3M here are some benchmarks, which include an FX5200 (light yellowish creamy coloured line in graph). The 9600 is the dark green line and the 9600Pro is the "ordinary" bright green line (not the light green one) - ignore the stripy and/or blue lines. You can see that in almost all the benchmarks, the 5200 does a pretty good job - fairly close to what the 9600 gives you, and sometimes even does better. In fact there is more of a gap between the 9600 and the 9600Pro than between your 5200 and the 9600, so it may be a waste of time/money to "upgrade" when the benefit looks fairly small. It's a pity the 6200 isn't in the comparison, but then the review is too old for that I think.

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Cheers

Munch
[/EDIT]
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AF
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Post by AF » 19 Jan 2006, 21:15

My geforce FX 5200 ultra is directx 9 compliant, I know, I've tested it out. As far as I was aware the entire Geforce FX series was DX9 compliant.

So I ask what's the difference between FX 5200 and FX 5200 ultra?

Also in nvidia, you cant overclock it because the clock speed page is hidden but it's easily fixed with a simple registry patch. On the page you get given the gpu clock frequency and the memory freq as sliders, and it has a tool that autoconfigures them to overclock to the max safe position nvidia thinks, but you cna go past that. The steting spage isnt too fussy about how high you set ti though so be warned, I could double my graphics cards clock speed in that settings page but I'd have a big lump of molten metal if I did.
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Min3mat
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Post by Min3mat » 19 Jan 2006, 22:17

munch wins.
his pictures are COLOURED ^-^
useful info btw. must...have...upgrade...
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mikedep333
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Post by mikedep333 » 20 Jan 2006, 14:55

AF wrote:My geforce FX 5200 ultra is directx 9 compliant, I know, I've tested it out. As far as I was aware the entire Geforce FX series was DX9 compliant.

So I ask what's the difference between FX 5200 and FX 5200 ultra?

Also in nvidia, you cant overclock it because the clock speed page is hidden but it's easily fixed with a simple registry patch. On the page you get given the gpu clock frequency and the memory freq as sliders, and it has a tool that autoconfigures them to overclock to the max safe position nvidia thinks, but you cna go past that. The steting spage isnt too fussy about how high you set ti though so be warned, I could double my graphics cards clock speed in that settings page but I'd have a big lump of molten metal if I did.

Pretty much two things:
The 5200 ultra has higher clock speeds
The 5200 is mostly sold in stores, the 5200 ultra was mostly given to reporters :?

Anyway, those of you comparing the radeon 9600/9500 cards to 6200s, keep in mind that there are other factors that determine the speed as well. I still suggested you find benchmarks, not just stats on the chipsets.
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SwiftSpear
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Post by SwiftSpear » 20 Jan 2006, 15:58

AF wrote:My geforce FX 5200 ultra is directx 9 compliant, I know, I've tested it out. As far as I was aware the entire Geforce FX series was DX9 compliant.

So I ask what's the difference between FX 5200 and FX 5200 ultra?

Also in nvidia, you cant overclock it because the clock speed page is hidden but it's easily fixed with a simple registry patch. On the page you get given the gpu clock frequency and the memory freq as sliders, and it has a tool that autoconfigures them to overclock to the max safe position nvidia thinks, but you cna go past that. The steting spage isnt too fussy about how high you set ti though so be warned, I could double my graphics cards clock speed in that settings page but I'd have a big lump of molten metal if I did.
The 5200 is fake DX9 compatible. All cards in the 5x00 series are. They work fine with DX9 drivers, but acctually undercut the specifications and run slightly better DX8 (commonly called DX8.1). 5x00 series cards can run preformace that looks slimilar to DX9 capable cards, but certain things they don't do even close to as well, and lots of shader stuff they just fail compleatly. For instance, they are only capable of bumpmap rendering and not normal map rendering. Lots of lighting shaders screw them up as well.
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munch
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Benchmarks

Post by munch » 20 Jan 2006, 21:22

mikedep333 wrote: Anyway, those of you comparing the radeon 9600/9500 cards to 6200s, keep in mind that there are other factors that determine the speed as well. I still suggested you find benchmarks, not just stats on the chipsets.
Hi Mike,

Thanks for the advice - very much appreciated. To tell you the truth I'd quite like to buy an NVidia card, but I have three problems:
1. It's hard to see how good they are because everybody seems to be biased and fall into the NV or ATi camp. NV fans give you a comparison between the new NV GF 6000 series and old ATi 9500 series cards, whereas ATi fans give you a comparison between the new 9600 or 9800 ATi cards and the old NV GF FX5000 series. The tests always seem stacked up to put across the reviewers favourite in the best light, which seems a bit pointless to me. I haven't seen a single review that stacked up 9600/9800 series against 6200/6600 which is the obvious thing to do - compare the latest AGP cards from both manufacturers. If you've got a link to a review like that I'd very much appreciate it.

2. benchmarks for NVidia cards are very hard to come by - there seem to be quite a lot of ATi reviews around, but not NVidia ones.

3. there is a basic pricing problem with the NVidia cards - I've basically got the 6200, 6600LE and 6600 to choose from, but only the 6200 fits my budget (unless there are some cheap 6600LE cards that I've missed somewhere - I'll keep looking). The ATi cards on the other hand have several different options within my budget. The thing is I'd really like something with a decent bus width and decent clock speeds, NVidia don't give me that option because of my budget. Having said that I'm going to do a bit more digging and see if I can't find a bargain 6600LE card (assuming I can also find benchmarks to show me it's worth the money).

Thanks again for your help and please do give any feedback you've got - I really appreciate it.

Munch
Last edited by munch on 20 Jan 2006, 23:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Caydr
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Post by Caydr » 20 Jan 2006, 22:21

...All of the above cards will be hopelessly out of date in 6 months. DX10 is a must-have, and none of the above or any other card you can buy has it yet.
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k994
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well

Post by k994 » 22 Jan 2006, 06:39

well, it depends on your processor....just kidding :wink:
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Journier
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Post by Journier » 25 Jan 2006, 05:51

the only game being made using direct x 10 right now and being released when the new vid cards are released is being made by Crytek, a game called Crysis, which will be using directx 10. FYI Not like every game ever made all of a sudden will look better because the card is Direct x 10 compliant... in another year after the card is released im sure there will be a couple.


But what im wondering is, Didnt the Geforce 5xxx series completely lose that round of video card wars? I remember all the reviews praising the ATI series and saying the geforce was much slower.

So a ATI 9800 or 9600 etc would be best suited for some of you guys looking to upgrade... unless your running Linux which i believe ATI still has problems with.
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Android_X
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Post by Android_X » 25 Jan 2006, 06:48

@munch. For reviews on computer hardware I always look at this site Home:http://www.tomshardware.com/
Graphics Cards:http://www.tomshardware.com/graphics/index.html
They got the best reviews.
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munch
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ATi vs Nvidia

Post by munch » 25 Jan 2006, 13:21

Android_X wrote:@munch. For reviews on computer hardware I always look at this site Home:http://www.tomshardware.com/
Graphics Cards:http://www.tomshardware.com/graphics/index.html
They got the best reviews.
Thanks - I'll take a look. [EDIT] wow this set of benchmarks is fantastic - thanks. Almost exactly what I was looking for: a comparison of LOTS of cards from both manufacturers. In particular it's good to see what the 6600 can do - all the benchmarks I've seen to date tend to showcase the 6600GT model, which is a way better card (as these benchmark pages show). The only thing missing from my point of view is things lower down the series (i.e. 6600LE and in particular the 6200 - since that's the one NVidia card I can afford). However that's not too important since it's fairly clear from the benchmarks that even the 6600 is very variable from benchmark to benchmark. It does really well in some tests, but comes bottom in a whole lot of them - I can only assume that the 6200 does much worse (having half the pixel pipelines and half the bus width). It's odd that the 6600, which I can no way afford comes out like this, when the 9600Pro, which I can afford (just) beats it around half the time - extra surprising given the inferior spec on paper[/EDIT]

On the old NVidia vs ATi war, the problem is you can't simply say NVidia is better or ATi is better because it depends on how much cash you've got. Most of the reviews that come out concluding one or the other is winning "at the moment" just compare the fastest cards currently available from both manufacturers. On which point, Tom's Hardware seems to be reporting that ATi have just taken back the lead!

As you might have gathered... I still haven't made my mind up yet! One thing I have discovered is that even a 6600LE is out of my price range.

Cheers

Munch
Last edited by munch on 25 Jan 2006, 14:35, edited 1 time in total.
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malric
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Post by malric » 25 Jan 2006, 13:52

Pretty interesting discussions.

But as I can't play spring on my old rv100 I just ordered a GeForce 6600. As someone (sorry for not searching but it's kind of a big thread - thanks anyway for the tip) recommended I waited until now and I saw a price cut of about 20 $ compared to the begining of the month.

I hope I will be able to run spring with full detail (AMD 64 3000+, 1 GB) and after the network synchronization is finished, to play online 8) . (don't suggest me to do it, for now I patch the linux lobby :wink: )

off-topic: maybe nvidia and ati should sponsor this, as spring is the main reason that convinced me to upgrade.
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munch
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I bought a card (at last)

Post by munch » 26 Jan 2006, 00:34

OK, OK, so I haven't been telling you the full story. A friend of mine who's graphic card mad recommended I try eBay. I didn't want to mention this before as I didn't want half of you guys bidding against me =) My top tip is this: currently a lot of people with a "must have the latest" type point of view are currently ditching their top end AGP cards that they bought like 12 months ago, because they're all busilly upgrading to new motherboards, which don't have AGP slots. This means that you can get top end AGP cards (specifically 9800 and 9800Pro cards) for £50-£60, including P+P

One that I almost went for is here: a refurbished OEM 9800, which is £51 including P+P. Postal insurance is included as standard.

The "guy" selling these is actually a shop, so unlike most ebay purchases you get a (short) guarantee if the thing doesn't work, which is nice.

Be slightly careful if buying a 9800 instead of 9800pro as despite ATi's plan for the whole 9800 series to be 256bit, some manufacturers built 9800PRO as 256 bit and 9800 as only 128bit. Avoid 9800SE cards, they're badly crippled and have the performance more like a 9600 than 9800.

You can save a bit of money on eBay by going for like a 9600 or something but they're not much cheaper than new.

To give you an idea of how much of a bargain a £50 9800 is, here's my original table with 9800 and 9800pro added in (I've also attached some of the Tom's Hardware benchmarks to the end of this message):

Code: Select all

Series   Bus Width  Bus Speed GPU Speed  Num Pixel Pipelines
------------------------------------------------------------
FX5500   128 bit    350MHz    270MHz     4
6200     64  bit    400MHz    350MHz     4
6600LE   128 bit    400MHz    300MHz     4
9600SE   64  bit    400MHz    325MHz     4
9600     128 bit    400MHz    325Mhz     4
9600Pro  128 bit    600MHz    400Mhz     4
9800     256 bit    580MHz    380Mhz     8
9800Pro  256 bit    680MHz    400Mhz     8
Whatever you do, don't buy an NVidia card on Ebay - people are paying silly prices for them. It's cheaper to buy a new one!

Finally the other bargain I found, from a retailer with a very good reputation for good customer service (MicroDirect) is this: HIS 9600Pro 128bit 256MB

They do a slightly cheaper one made by PowerColor, but HIS is a much better make. If there hadn't been such bargains available on ebay, this is the one I'd have gone for. Ijust hope my ebay purchase is in working order when it arrives!

Cheers

Munch
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